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Public Meetings
We meet once a month on the third Wednesday of each month (except August) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Conference Room of the Verona Community Center, located at 880 Bloomfield Ave., Verona, NJ 07044. The public is welcome to attend. Join us in protecting Verona's environment for the health and well being of all! Stay Connected with the Verona Environmental Commission: follow us in social media, contact us via email at veronaenvironmental@gmail.com or by mail to Verona Environmental Commission, 600 Bloomfield Ave., Verona, NJ 07044.
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Green News
Verona Green Fair
The 3rd Annual Verona Green Fair will take place on May 20, 2017 from 11 am to 4 pm outside in the Verona Civic Center, 600 Bloomfield Ave. Come explore the world of sustainability, eat, play and have some fun! Free entry. We'll be there distributing recycling bins and barrels and playing the "Recycling Race" game! Family & Kids Activities, Vendors & Exhibitors, Live Music, Green Businesses, Shredding Truck, Food Drive, Rx Drug Drop, Health & Nutrition, Solar Info, Gardening, Volunteer Opportunities, Local Food Vendors & Much Much More! For More Information please visit www.VeronaNJ.org/SustainableVerona or contact Steven Neale at stneale@veronanj.org

Tree Giveaway
In honor of Earth Day the Commission we gave away 300 tree seedlings and cleaned up Grove Park on April 22nd. The tree giveaway was open to all NJ residents as 
part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign. The commission worked with the municipal government and the DEP to distribute free trees with planting instructions. Here is the Tree Species Factsheet. The VEC also hosted a cleanup during the event to keep the park and nature preserve safe for people and wildlife. Tree seedlings should be planted within two days after pick-up in order to prevent the roots from drying out. The goal of the Tree Recovery Campaign is to distribute over 500,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents over the course of the next five years.

Successful Cleanup!
About 70 volunteers participated in the West Essex Trail Cleanup on April 2nd, 2017, removing over 6 truck loads of trash. The volunteers met at two main locations: 280 Grove Ave. in Cedar Grove and at the main trail entrance on 201 Fairview Avenue, off Sampson Drive in Verona. The cleanup effort was focused on the section from Fairview Ave. to Pompton Ave. 
The Verona Environmental Commission and the Cedar Grove Environmental Commission teamed up with Essex County Parks to organize this cleanup. We would like to thank the DPW and all the volunteers who participated removing tires, metal fencing and pipes, cinder blocks, lawn chairs, metal drums, car batteries and even school bus seats and a refrigerator! Pictures are posted HERETrail users and neighbors are encouraged to lend a hand with the ongoing cleanup by carrying a shopping bag to collect any items missed by the spring cleaning. Thank you!

Watch Your Ash
Presence of Emerald Ash Tree Borer Confirmed in Essex County
We strongly recommend Verona residents to initiate action to protect their Ash trees. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Montclair. As this pest spreads rapidly, it kills 99% of all ash trees. Select ash trees can be saved through insecticide treatments, but all other ash trees will succumb after EAB infestation. Ash trees are in 24% of the forests in New Jersey and are a common landscape tree. Most of the Ash trees in Verona are on private property and wooded lots, only a few are street trees. Declining ash trees become brittle rapidly, and dead trees will pose a hazard to residents and infrastructure. Essex County residents are urged to take action by doing the following:
  • Determine if there are ash species on your property;
  • Retain a N.J. Certified Tree Expert or ISA Certified Arborist to inspect trees for the pest. Here is a listing of Certified Tree Experts in our area and a key to services.
  • Trees infected may have to be removed and chipped and/or burned; wood that cannot be chipped must stay within the municipality;
  • Trees not infected, or with very early infestation, may be treated to preserve the tree.
The extensive damage in trees sampled so far indicate the pest has been in Montclair for several years, and is likely widespread. Trees with no visible symptoms may already be infested; only a trained professional will know. For more information visit www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov - 
To obtain a listing of Certified Tree Experts please contact njtreeexperts@gmail.com and provide your location so a county specific listing can be provided. Thank you.

New Water Fountains
The Township of Verona Municipal Building and the Verona Community Center have great new water fountains paid for by a grant. These are Water Bottle Refilling Stations that display the quantity of disposable bottles saved from landfills. The Verona High School also installed one, thanks to the Marine Biology Club. Look for them this summer at the Verona Community Pool as well. Well done everybody!

Bags and Batteries
Recycle your dry and clean plastic bags as well as your Alkaline, Nickel, Silver and Mercury batteries at the Verona Community Center located at 880 Bloomfield Avenue. All battery terminals must be taped or placed in an individual plastic bag to prevent short circuits. Please do not bring Lithium, Lithium Ion, Lead Acid or any Wet Cell Batteries or Leaking Batteries. Batteries are also accepted for recycling at the Verona Municipal Building. 
Drought Warning
The Township of Verona released a drought warning and strongly encourages all residents to eliminate unnecessary water use and is offering a limited supply of toilet leak detection tablets at the Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Ave. to help residents do their part to conserve. 

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has placed 14 counties in North, Central and Northern Coastal New Jersey under a drought warning due to ongoing precipitation deficits and deteriorating water-supply conditions, particularly storage levels in reservoirs. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin signed an Administrative Order on October 21, 2016 designating the drought warning for Morris, Bergen, Essex , Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties.
 
Verona Solar Challenge
More than 50,000 New Jersey homeowners have gone solar and are saving money and the environment already. The Verona Solar Challenge was developed to help answer your questions about solar and to make it simple and easy to get a great deal on a solar energy system of your own. The Verona Solar Challenge is a town-sponsored program that has partnered with EnergySage, an online solar marketplace that was developed with funding and support from the US Department of Energy. This free service will help you learn about and shop for a solar energy system with absolutely no obligation to make a purchase in the end. To participate in this program, simply visit www.veronasolar.org

Hilltop Cleanup
We had a great time with the Sustainable Verona team, the Hilltop Conservancy and numerous volunteers at the Hilltop Reservation cleanup on November 19. Volunteers helped to clean up a new restoration site. This was a family friendly event and several children participated, including boy-scouts pictured here.

2016 
Poster Contest Winners
Verona celebrated the 20 year anniversary of Walk-Bike to School Day on October 5th, sponsored by the Verona Environmental Commission. Students were encouraged to walk and bike to school and learn more about pedestrian and bicycle safety. Pictured, Forest Avenue Elementary School Principal Jeff Monacelli walks to school with students. Each year we hold a poster contest open to Verona Public School Students Grade K through 12. All posters were exhibited at the schools and entered into the contest. Winners received $50 dollars and a certificate from Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan at Town Hall on November 7. 

Peckman Cleanup
Verona’s Peckman River & Woods cleanup took place at the trail behind F. N. Brown Elementary School, located at 125 Grove Ave., on June 4. This event was organized by the VEC and it is part of the NJ Clean Communities Clean Water Challenge. Volunteers worked cleaning the river and woods, restoring the trails, and pulling out invasive plants. Volunteers removed lots of garbage, pulled out pipes, lamps, lead acid batteries, cans, bottles, plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, and tons of invasive Japanese knotweed! A big thank you to everyone who was able to help and donate your time and energy to keep Verona green. Here are some pictures. To participate in future events please contact us at VeronaEnvironmental@gmail.com

www.geocaching.com
Attention geocaching fans: the Verona EC cache "The Grove" is now live, you can get the GPS coordinates HERE - This is a real-world, free outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of coordinates and then attempt to find the hidden cache (container) at that location. If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value. Write about your find in the cache logbook. The Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission. Happy geocaching!

Grove Park - 42 Grove Avenue
The VEC, Junior Woman’s Club of Verona and Verona Historical Society joined forces to create a nature preserve and historic park on the site of a 19th century community 
gathering place. This was later the homestead of Dr. Henry B. Whitehorne, the namesake of Verona's middle school. The woods at 42 Grove are now home to many kinds of wildlife, including a family of foxes and wild turkeys. Vegetation includes a huge patch of skunk cabbage and jack-in-the-pulpits, native sycamore, black cherry, hickory, tulip poplar and red maple trees. The park's ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on November 21, 2015. You can watch the video here. The wooded lot was restored and a short, sustainable nature trail was created, park benches and signage with information about the history of the site were added.
Trees and plants will be added during the Spring of 2016. Open space provides many benefits to the community. In  rapidly growing urban areas, any preserved land can offer relief from congestion. In the early 1800s this lot was the site of Personett’s Grove, a favorite meeting place for picnics, religious meetings and Fourth of July celebrations. Later Dr. Whitehorne built his home on the site. Whitehorne's home was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The Weathon family owned the property until 1966. The township bought the 1.33 acre lot in 1975. The property has a significant historical value. Grove Ave. got its name from Personett's Grove. We appreciate the town's commitment to this preservation effort.
Annual Report
You can read here our 2016 Annual Report, and here is our 2015 Annual ReportThe township encourages all residents to plant native trees, and reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost as much of their household waste as possible. The Verona Recycling Center, located at 10 Commerce Ct. is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
New Jersey Water Quality
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and commissioned by the Department of Environmental Protection and Delaware River Basin Commission shows that levels of algae-causing nutrients in waterways are largely declining or holding steady, a positive sign for water quality in New Jersey. You can read the New Jersey DEP news release and download the complete study HERE.
Remyndr Download the free app on iTunes -enter your address to receive notifications about your recycling and garbage curbside collection schedule.
Climate Change
The Verona Environmental Commission released a statement in support of the Essex County Board of Freeholders' Climate Change Resolution. The Commission is showing support for the goals of the County in which the Township sits and plans to help the County meet those goals. The Freeholders Resolution "In Support of the State of New Jersey Taking Action on Climate Change" was passed unanimously by the Freeholders. The resolution notes Essex County’s vulnerability to two major problems caused by climate change: a rising sea level and storm surges from more frequent and intense storms. These are problems with severe economic consequences. Essex County has already taken steps to reduce carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The freeholders pledge to do more in the future. The VEC supports this resolution, which is critical to the health, safety and well-being of our town, our county and our state. We look forward to working with the Freeholders and the Verona Town Council to implement these plans as we move the County towards a more sustainable future.
2017 Curbside Pick-Up Schedules 
Here is the 2017 Garbage and Recycling Collection Newsletter. To know your curbside recycling  pick-up designated days, please click below on the north side or south side (of Bloomfield Avenue) schedules:
     

Sustainable Gifts: 
 
Please consider donating to the 
 
Verona Environmental Commission to 
 help protect Verona's natural resources. You can donate by writing a check to the Township of Verona with "VEC Donation" in the memo line. Donations can be drop off at Town Hall, or mailed to 600 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ 07044. Matt Laracy, Verona’s CFO, deposits the funds into the VEC trust fund. The Township is not a 501-c-3. We appreciate your support!


VEC Videos
Poster Contest: 
Sample of the artwork submitted by Verona public school students, Grade K through 12, for the 2016 Walk-Bike to School poster contest sponsored by the Verona Environmental Commission.

Grove Park: Ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by the three sponsor groups, the Mayor and Council of Verona, November 21, 2015. Local historian Bob Williams gave an interesting talk on the park's history.

Poster Contest: 2 min. video of Verona students 2015 submissions to the VEC 'Sustainable Verona' poster contest.

Green Fair: 2 min. video of Verona's First Green Fair, May 30th, 2015 in the Civic Center. For a complete list of participants please visit Sustainable Verona

Alternative Fuel Education: We interviewed students that excel at converting cars to run on electric at the Verona Green Fair, May 30, 2015. The car was originally converted from gas to electric by Memorial High School students, in West New York, NJ. Their teacher, Ron Grosinger, showed the car at the fair with Mark Balzarette, an adjunct professor Bergen Community College and Kassem Alhussien, a former student from Memorial HS.

Kids Ride to the Peckman Trail: 3 minutes video made by Verona kids with helmet camera.

Go Idle Free Verona is a 2 minute video, entirely shot and edited by VEC members in Verona. The commission would like to especially thank the HBW Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to enhance Verona's air quality. An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline non-emergency vehicles. Please Turn the Key -Be Idle Free!
Wastewater Treatment Facility: the commission produced this 8-minute video, please watch it to learn how you can help protect our waterways (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen).
New Cardboard and E-Waste Procedures
Recycling curbside collection in Verona now includes all paper products, Chipboard (cereal, cake mix boxes, etc) and Corrugated Cardboard (shipping boxes, etc). Newspapers, junk mail and magazines no longer have to be put out separately. ALL paper products and flattened clean cardboard boxes can now be placed at the curb together on the designated daysElectronic waste is no longer accepted at the Recycling Depot on Commerce Court. Computers, TV's and other electronic waste is now accepted at the Department of Public Works (5 Ozone Ave.) on the following days: January 15 and 16, April 15 and 16, July 15 and 16, and October 14 and 15, 2016. Since 2009, it has been illegal to put TVs, computers or other e-waste at the curb in Verona, electronics contain many toxic components that can pollute land and water. For a complete list of accepted materials please visit our Recycling page. In order to stay up-to-date on collection days you can download the free Remyndr app on your smart phone at www.VeronaNJ.org/PublicWorks

Anti Idling Resolution
At the VEC encouragement, the Verona Town Council approved a Resolution adopting a strong Anti Idling policy in 2015. The resolution essentially reinforces existing NJ State Law which prohibits idling in your car or truck beyond 3 minutes while parked. It also encourages drivers to turn off their engines immediately, especially in schools, drive through windows, gas stations, parking lots, etc. Municipally-owned vehicles are also included in the anti-idling campaign. Emissions from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution, including greenhouse gases, ozone formation, fine particulates, and a multitude of potentially harmful pollutants that can trigger various respiratory ailments such as asthma. Enforcing this resolution would significantly improve public health, air quality, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bronze Certification
Verona Township has been awarded bronze level certification again by Sustainable Jersey for 2016! Bronze certification means a municipality has made a commitment to sustainability and succeeded in implementing significant first steps, while silver certification means a municipality has made significant progress in a number of categories toward sustainability and is a state-wide and national leader. At Verona Environmental Commission encouragement, Verona Township joined Sustainable Jersey in 2014 and became the 400th municipality in the state to join the program. The VEC formally presented the program to the council members on November 2013 and provided information to residents at our table in the December 2013 Fair in the Square. A Green Team and Chairman Steve Neale was appointed in 2014 to lead the local sustainability efforts.

Verona and Zika
Please read HERE the VEC statement about Zika Virus.